Fresh from Hidden Herd‘s Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar send off with Childcare last month, November brings our penultimate south coast show of the year. Tonight, we’re over at the closing venue’s sibling The Hope & Ruin for Hidden Herd Presents: Wyldest, where a stellar trio of acts look set to bring an Eighties-flecked evening of echo-drenched guitar lines and ethereal harmonies.
Singer/producer la lune – AKA London-born Olivia Judd – is the first of the three on this rain-swept and blustery Friday, her early hours night-pop serving to create the perfect musical sanctuary on a grim winter’s evening by the sea. The much-tipped Brighton resident and her band bring spellbinding sonic delights aplenty, with Judd’s airy vocals, cathartic hooks and delicately assembled synthscapes combining to lift the mesmerised room to heavenly heights. Standout song ‘love/sick’ bridges the gap between IDER and Oh Wonder – a tune built to make big busy rooms go pin-drop quiet.
Winding the clock back to new wave’s peak, Pelicandy let loose with a Day-Glo explosion of electro-pop that barely slows for breath between vibrant bursts of funk-tinged guitar, starry synth lines and slick bass. The Londoners – who were the standout for many at our debut festival in September – are prolific purveyors of synth-fuelled stonkers and in the ludicrously catchy ‘Waiting Room’ they have a sure bet for Hidden Herd‘s Tracks of the Year. But their dazzling output is even more impressive in the flesh, and they whip through their infectious Metronomy-meets-INXS setlist with swagger.
With The Hope & Ruin stoked up and ready to go, it’s then over to tonight’s Hand In Hive-signed headliners Wyldest to bring the night to a dreamy close and they absolutely deliver. Sharing the same haunting quality that put Warpaint on the map, a spine-tingling array of tracks from the London-based band’s unreleased debut album ‘Dream Chaos’ are unveiled to mark its imminent release. The highlights are many, but the best moments come courtesy of eery new single ‘Headrush’ – a shoegazing dreamscape with ghostly guitarwork and celestial vocals – and seasoned favourite ‘Wanders’, which is the three-piece’s sound at its most otherworldly and inimitable. Spine-tingling and nuanced from the opening note to the last, Wyldest are a band at the peak of their powers.